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Eros Baluyot gives Rene Catalan rude URCC welcome with submission win

Eros Baluyot takes down Rene Catalan on the ground while URCC President Alvin Aguilar watches during their main event bout at URCC 87: Heroes on Tuesday night at the Palace in Xylo in BGC. Joseph Valle/URCC
By Dugout Philippines

MANILA—Two-time jiu-jitsu world champion Eros Baluyot pulled off the biggest win so far in his young mixed martial arts career after submitting veteran Rene Catalan in the Universal Reality Combat Championship (URCC) 87: Heroes on Tuesday night at the Xylo at the Palace in Taguig.

Baluyot, 14 years younger against his 44-year-old rival, needed only 71 seconds to finish off Catalan in the first round behind his patented ground game during their main event bout backed by main supporter www.crazywin.ph.

As soon as Baluyot took Catalan down, Baluyot quickly strived to find an opening for a rear naked choke, which he successfully did, forcing Catalan to tap out.

“I just did everything precise and safe during the fight,” the undefeated Baluyot, who now improves to 3-0 as an MMA fighter, said after the bout. He approached Catalan before and after the fight ended as a sign of respect to the veteran coach and former wushu sanda Asian Games gold medalist. 

Catalan fell to a 6-6 record. 

In another MMA contest also supported by Lucas Lepri BJJ gym, Rex De Lara wowed the crowd by pulling off a huge comeback win against Mhar John Manahan during their 145-pound contest. 

De Lara survived Manahan’s ground-and-pound action and eventually made him pay for failing to finish him in the second round. De Lara slowed things down at the start of Round 3, and it paid off as he caught Manahan and slammed him down to the canvas with power.

The referee stopped the contest after Manahan was seemingly knocked out cold, giving De Lara a rare takedown knockout win that moved him up to 12-8-1 and pulled Manahan down to 2-4.

“All fights were quality bouts. We are very happy to see how the Xylo crowd reacted to each fight. So for our next card, we guaranteed everyone to put exciting and more innovative fights,” URCC co-owner and general manager Aleksandr Sofronov said. 

The two grappling super fights saw Godwin Langbayan submitting Red Samson also by RNC and Paige Alitao outpointing Troy Legaspi.

In the other pro MMA bouts, Rufino Mante knocked out Mark Cuizon and Kerwin Tan scored a technical knockout after Marco Lampacan could not continue due to an injury he suffered during their match.

The lone amateur MMA bout saw Paolo Cruz besting Jerald Vellarde by a unanimous decision.

Meanwhile, the bare-knuckle boxing showdown between Christian Panliag and Chris Cantor ended with Panliag winning by split decision despite surviving a first-round knockdown.

In the slap battles to open the night, Reynaldo Beltrano prevailed over Milarde “Pongde” Hugo by split decision and Gerald “Makahighlord” Gabonada won over Michael “Batang CamSur” Azucena by unanimous decision.

At the end of the fight card, URCC President Alvin Aguilar announced that CJ De Tomas will take on Burn Soriano in a lightweight battle to headline URCC 88 on Sept. 5.

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